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101 replies
Giving up good job to work abroad
Anonymous
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I am a 28 yr old single female from the USA. I have a very nice job (make more than twice my age in income and have unlimited free 1st class travel all over the world) but am extremely unhappy with life. After I graduated from college I did a work abroad in London for 6 months and loved it.

I do not have a clue as to what I want to do "career wise" in life, but love to travel so was wondering if I am absolutly crazy to want to give up my job(I have very little dept)and move to Europe and try to find casual work to figure out what I want.

Also was thinking about the peace corps.

Has anyone else out there been through this that can give me some advise.

Would appreciate any help. Thanks

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Anonymous
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Wow!
I think I’m going through the exact same thing right now. I leave in July, How bout you?

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Anonymous
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Well I haven’t exactly been in your position, but I understand where you’re coming from. I just graduated two days ago and my parents (and all their friends) think I should be getting a "real" job. A lot of people my age are scared to take off, because they have "real" job offers. Which is silly, as if the job market is going to disappear if you take a year off. Like you can’t get a job if you decide to come back. Besides what are we put here on earth for, to compete in the rat race until we’re 65? And then what? In twenty years, you’re going to look back at the things you didn’t do not the things you did and regret it. (I’m paraphrasing Mark Twain). Anyway I think you should most definately go to London, (or wherever). What’s the point of staying here if you’re not happy? The only thing that’s keeping you from going is the fact that we’ve been forcefed since we were born that making money is our only goal in life. Enough of my spiel. Good luck!

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girliegirl
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It’s not a "good job" if it doesn’t make you happy…no matter how much money you make.

Right now I’m working at a job I don’t care about at all. It pays more than I have ever made before, but I don’t love it. However, my indifference towards my position makes my life outside of work so stress- free that I feel pretty happy with my life. I have more than enough money to pay bills, and the time and energy to pursue my real interests when I get home from work.

The job I had before this was in a field I really cared about, but I cared so much about it that I got really stressed and burned out. They also paid me very little for my time and passion. I am really glad I quit.

Decide what’s important to you. Is it geographical location, perks and benefits, passion for an enriching job, money, intellectual stimulation, lack of boredom at work, responsibility, frienships with co-workers, creative control, less stress…? Would you be happy working at a casual job after have grown accustomed to the money you make? Could you get a "good job" for a year or so in another country to give yourself time to figure crap out?

The Peace Corps also sounds like a great thing, but I don’t know anything about you.

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I totally agree with girliegirl (for once ) on this one. It’s only a good job if you’re happy at it. You could be flipping burgers for $6.85/hour, but if you’re happy doing that then that’s a good job for you.

It depends what in life is important to you. If making money is all you care about then the job you’re in seems to satisfy that need. I suspect though that you want more out of life than working to pay your bills.

It’s a scary thought to just pick up and leave everything you know and are comfortable with. Once I’m done Uni I plan on taking off for awhile to work and travel. Even though I’m not giving up a great paying job, I’ll be giving up what I know for the unknown. I think that’s exciting, but can be very daunting at the same time.

Everything in today’s society seems to be geared towards money and material things. Break free from the fast lane for awhile and see how you like the life. My advice to you would be DO IT!

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I have the same problem!!! I worked in London for 6 months last year and now want to go back or to Australia/NZ or just TRAVEL!! I don’t know what to do either with my Anthro. BA and no visa… I’d love to travel write-get paid to travel but how??? I looked into Peace Corps- could be good but hard living. Also looked at teaching in Asia which pays ok if in Japan and not as good in China (enough to live on). Maybe I will do it next year but most programs cost a lot. Pay to work-not a good idea for me. My dream now is too just travel maybe RTW but unfortunately money is an issue. If I save up and go then I come back to the same problem. I am confused and very sick of temping! What to do?? Sorry to vent but any help would be nice.

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Great topic, Hannah!

I’ve been debating the same thing as you for several years —that maybe I should give in to the impulse to sell everything I own, quit the job and take off for wherever. What’s stopped me? I’m in debt from graduate school, I love my family and friends and the city I live in (Chicago), and on good days, I even love my job. But the biggest reason I don’t give it all up is cowardice. Pure and simple. It takes a lot of guts to cut yourself off from everything you’ve built in life for the adventures (good and bad) of living abroad.

So, my suggestion would be to really think about why you want to live overseas. Do you want to recreate your post-college time in London? —because that won’t happen. Things are bound to be different. Is there something missing in your life at home you hope to find in Europe? Whether it’s fulfillment of some kind, creativity, success, love, even happiness, I’ve been told by wise people that you should carry that stuff around inside you; you won’t find it by simply moving to a European city.

I’ll argue the flip side now: If you want to live abroad because you want to live abroad, maybe for you that’s a good enough reason. If you can be contented waiting tables or doing some other less than glamorous job while "finding yourself", if you really honestly think you’ll be happy doing that, then I say go for it. Just be sure of what you’re getting into. Europe is not a perfect place where it’s easier to be happy than in the U.S. In some ways, it’s probably harder (for us Americans, anyway).

I hope this helps.

[This message has been edited by AnnMarie (edited 02 June 1999).]

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Thanks for all the imput. My biggest problem (other than cowardness) is that I do not know how to find a job. When I was a student it was very easy as there are many ways of getting working permits. Now that I am out of school, I do not know how to go about finding a job. I have used a lot of the job web sites out there, but most of the jobs are tailored for those who can work easily (ie EU member) not someone like myself that has no legal easy way to work there.

Anyone know where I should start.

Any input would be appreciated. If you want you can email me (hannah.hope@usa.net) and I will email you back.

Thanks again

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I went through something similar last summer. I was 27 and in my last year of MBA school and was not sure what I wanted to do after I graduated. I spent my last summer in London studying and then spent 4 months travelling. My suggestion is to talk to your work about a possible leave of absence. My work let me take 6 months off and easily let me come back. It will give you something to fall back on if things do not work out. I spent lots of time looking for a job in London in my field. It might be easier to find bar/waitress work but I did not try. You may want to consider using your skills in under developed countries in East Europe—Czech Repub, Hungary etc. Good luck.

Anonymous
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You could try checking out this site, it may be of help to you – http://users.bigpond.net.au/bug/road/work.html

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I just finished with my boyfriend of over 3 years, quit my job (I have until the end of June), and am in the process of letting my house out to students.

I feel pretty scared but also excited. I want to travel, do things, be free. I decided it was a pre-mid-life crisis. Maybe its because I will be 25 at the beginning of July, quarter of a century sounds scary.

Anyone wanting to travel from July onwards? I really don’t have any definite plans at all yet, just that I want to get out of the UK for a bit!

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Anonymous
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Check out the book "Work Your Way Around the World" by Susan Griffith. It explains is great detail how to get jobs in practically every country, how to get visas, deal with red tape, and the kinds of jobs yo can expect. I’m leaving in a month for rtw trip and I found it to be very helpful. In terms of work, casual work seems to be easy to find, but any kind of "real" work is going to be difficult, because they have such a high rate of unemployment in other parts of the world. You’re going to need to be sponsored by an employer in order to get a permanent sort of job. Of course you have to convince them why you’re better suited than a native, which could be difficult. You might want to consider working for an American company that has international offices. I know several people who have done this, but they are also older with more work experience which may have made a difference. In any case, good luck!

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Working for the Peace Corps is certainly a noble idea. However, I need lots of money to feed my travel habits. Either that, or, I need a job that pays me to travel. Given my extensive background in Computers,
Data Networking and Broadcasting, there has to be something where I can travel to and fro, or live in Europe for a year maybe two? Any ideas???

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MunichBeerBoy

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Hi Hannah,

I do know what you are going through. I’m 30 and quit my job to come to Italy. My job offered my a leave of absence after I quit so of course i accepted that. But I too don’t know what i want to do careerwise. I originally thought i would come to work a bit but instead decided on language school first. Studied for a month in Florence and am now in Rome. I will probably do some traveling as well.

I have met a number of people around our age who have done the same. Some have figured out what they want and others not. So far I am still searching. It is good though to be away from the usual crowd in order to get ideas. I am always pestering everybody to see what it is they do.

Like the others said don’t expect the same experience as before – expect a new one!
I thought about Peace Corps but don’t like the idea of someone else deciding where i will be for the next 2 years.
If you figure out how to find work or if you just want to do a bit of traveling, please let me know.

Good Luck!

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Hi Hannah….
Wow…your situation sounds like my life. I am an independent "freelance" interior designer and am very successful in my work. But it is not enough. Something is missing. I am 34 years old and made my first trip to Europe (London and Paris) in April of 1998. I made my next trips to Germany in Feb., April and June of 1999. Now I have fallen in love with the country, and do not find much satisfaction in my life here in America. Have you definitely made your decision? I talked to a company that I have a "contract" with (and do most of my projects through), about my living in Germany, but "working" for them (telecommuting via internet) still. I was extremely surprised when they said yes, I can do this. But…I am scared too…there seems to be so much to find out, to do, before I can make this actual move. But, somehow I am determined. I have an opportunity to do this ( and not worry about finding a job with a German company right away), and I am afraid if I don’t, then I will look back years from now regretting I never took the chance. Travel is my love, especially in Europe..as well as new experiences and meeting new people and trying new things for the first time. I would like to know what you decide, if you go, and how you plan to do this! Perhaps you can offer me some advice.

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Working in Europe in a "casual job" could be fun, but is it sustainable?

If you go there, fall in love with the lifestyle, and want to stay, the trick will be to make the transition from a casual job to a real one.

But what the hell, give it a shot, no matter what. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

I have seen people have so many different experiences, working in Europe. The stories of failure are all pretty much the same (wrong education, no foreign language, homesickness, visa problems), but the stories of success are so varied and so interesting that i am really amazed.

My advice to you:

1. be open to any and all opportunities that come your way.
2. be flexible.
3. be prepared for the "little differences" in culture. They are the ones that can really get you down.

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Hannah: Don’t get down on yourself for not knowing what you want. Many of us go through the same thing. Some do not figure it out till they are 40. Others never do and just settle for whatever life throws them. I have been workin gin the computer/networking field since 1987, with exception of two years college. My heart is in radio, but I love to travel and I love my house on the beach. Radio does not pay as well. I know that I would be happy working 30 hours a week in radio and/or sports again, because it’s fun and there is no stress. Besides, I had fans and little 18 year-old female groupies back when I was on the air. Still, I need money. Just enjoy things wherever you are. I am starting to realize that "this is it", there is no Euphoric scene where you are married to the perfect person and you dance through a field of daffodils with your two perfect children. You sound like you are doing just fine.

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MunichBeerBoy

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HANNA,
I WILL BE LEAVING FOR SPAIN W A ONE WAY
TICKET IN HOPES OF FINDING SHORT TERM WORK
THROUGHOUT EUROPE FOR AT LEAST ONE YEAR.
I HAVE SPENT A LOT OF TIME ASKING QUESTIONS
AND READING ABOUT AMERICANS IN EUROPE, AND
FROM WHAT I’VE FOUND OUT IS IT TAKES
PERSISTANCE, CREATIVITY AND LUCK TO EARN
WHILE YOU TRAVEL.
MY ADVICE TO YOU IS TO JUST FIND A CHEAP TICKET, (TRY AIRTECH, AIRHITCH,
SURPLUSTRAVEL AND TRAVELSITE.COM ON INTERNET)
TAKE YOUR SAVINGS AND GO. DON’T WORRY TOO
MUCH ABOUT THE WHY’S AND WHAT IF’S…THE
WORST THING THAT CAN HAPPEN IS YOU HAVE TO
COME BACK. EVERYTHING ELSE THAT CAN HAPPEN
TO YOU THERE, CAN HAPPEN TO YOU HERE. GET
EXCITED ABOUT THE POSSIBILITIES AND BE
POSITIVE!
JUST GO!
AND REMEMBER, FEAR IS ONLY OUR INSTINCT
TELLING US TO MOVE!
GOOD LUCK, MAYBE I’LL SEE YOU IN FRANCE
OR ITALY
MARY

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MaryG; Do you know who I could contact in Spain(near Madrid) for work? I have a female friend who wants to move there.

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MunichBeerBoy

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That’s what I’m doing, but I’ll just be gone for three months and will be returning to go to law school.
Good luck.

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I’m 34 and I do love my job very much – it’s relatively stressless, pays extremely well (about 3 times my age) but I do hate living in Singapore cause it’s so boring and hot and humid. The only escapade is using my 21-day leave for vacation, which I usually split over 2 trips. I have a degree in Accountancy and MBA and have already reached the top of my profession. So, career wise, it’s no longer a challenge. I’m thinking of working in London for a change though it will probably mean a big cut in disposal income because of the high tax in UK. To prepare for this transition, I’m currently studying for some post-graduate specialist qualifications and hope to move there in 2 years. Am I asking too much in life?

[This message has been edited by CalvinKlein (edited 18 July 1999).]

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pamb
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CalvinKlein – ask and ye shall receive. No?

hannah.hope et al,
No regrets folks. If you have a dream, run right after it, because in 10 or 20 years we all may not be running so fast. What if this is one of the few opportunities to realize your dreams. Isn’t it true that the hardest things we do give us the most in return. Writing an outstanding PhD thesis, quitting a comfortable yet stagnant relationship, hiking a steep and rugged trail to the summit of Katadin – end of the Appalachian trail, childbirth. Remember freshman year at college? That feeling of uncertainty and a quiet nagging self doubt as your parents moved you into your dorm room? How you wondered if you’d be okay, make friends, do well in classes? Then recall returning home for that first Thanksgiving break and missing all your college friends within 24 hours, couldn’t wait to get back to the dorm.
We have an outstanding capacity to adjust to any situations we find ourselves in. We have to. I know there is a difference between finding yourself in a situation and putting yourself in one. But often the end result can be the same, satisfaction, feeling of accomplishment, and I think most important – learning about yourself. Really knowing yourself is the best gift you can give yourself.
I don’t worry about what a corporation, a potential employer, may think about taking time off from work. If anything, it displays courage and ability to take risks. What company wouldn’t like to see that. Self motivation et al… It’s easy to spin gaps in a resume during interviews. Only need to turn it around into something they’d want to hear, a quality that would benefit you in this job because …..
Don’t decide to do it. Just do it. (sorry nike) Just make the plans and go. Don’t give yourself the opportunity to debate it. Tell everyone your going and go go go …

p.s. see you when I get there !!!

Anonymous
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pamb,

Thanks for the prayer reminder. I have not asked God for it yet. Actually, I did asked Him back in 1998 and there was a job offer in London but my fiancee then wasn’t keen on it. She’s history now and I just started on a new job – so, I’ll just wait for 2 years and passed a few post-graduate papers in the meantime! Singapore is not as bad as I put it but it’s just that I rather be in Europe. I missed living in USA which I did for 9 wonderful years!

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Go for it!!! I am a successful 50 year old male who took off 6 months last year to travel. The best thing that I ever did in my life. I am going to take 3 months next year to travel around Europe and if I find a need for my expertise, I just might stay for awhile.
Yes its a major choice, but think about this as a major choice for someone in their 50’s.
So I think that going to Europe and taking a chance is the greatest. My work in Hospice has shown me the value of taking the opportunity when it comes. I have taken care of so many people of all ages who said that they wished they had taken that dream trip or had taken a chance on a dream of vision. So I say go for it. Enjoy life and above all take a chance. Who knows it might be the chance of a lifetime that will never be forgotten. Whats the worst thing that could happen, you might have to come back to the US or your home country to work.

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stevep
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While reading this stuff it occured to me that I might have something to offer people. I too am in my 50’s…and have been living all over the world for the past 30 years, while raising a family.
Now I know my circumstances will not be anyone elses necessarily, still people generally succeed or fail based on how they react to situations, not the situations themselves.
I was a radio announcer for 30 years. Started in Hawaii, worked in Taiwan and Hong Kong, and …took time out for a decade in Europe to develope my artwork (oil paintings)
I am married with three kids..and I drag them along. Sometimes we were so broke that there was nothing to eat…sometimes we were flush and lived well. It didnt matter, its all the same when you view it from a detached perspective.
Someone said they are afraid to leave their job. AFraid of what? Afraid of not having security, money? You just think you have it now…you could lose all that over night baby——in anybodys country. I know, I’ve seen it happen.
So think about your fears of moving to another country….fear is just generally a preconcieved idea, based on insufficient data. You can quote me, cause its true.
People all over the world are the same in some very essential ways. They all love and admire people who dont quit….people who remain optomistic, people who have the courage to follow their ideas into the fringe to see if they can pull it off.
Conversely, nobody has much time for a milk-toast person who instead of jumping flat footed into the arena of life with a handfull of guts and ideas, they timidly poke their toe in to see if there’s any dead bodies to run from. Moral of the story…go for it. Yes you need money…so do the people of Europe…do what they do for the love of God, make some money. If you can find a job fine, if not, make your own job. One person suggested selling posters on this thread. I thought that very sensible. I for one did pastel portraits all over Europe and managed to keep from looking like I was starving to death. I also have seen many young people of all genre survive and do well both in Europe and Asia.
ANd so what if you fail. WHat the hell do you think life is anyway? Its a succession of failures of varying degrees that we try and disquise in broad successful terms.
If you fail, get up and keep truckin. Everyone in the world admires a person like that,…wants to see a person like that make it..and often will lend real support to see that you do. Non quiters, positive oriented people sooner or later actualize their potential regardless where. Hope I’ve been helfull. Go for it…everyone…like someone once said, ask yourself ‘How long am I going to be dead?’ While you’re here, with the capacity to make it happen, then go make it happen.

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I don’t have anything to add about the topic involved here. The reason I write it in total appreciation of the how amazing all the people are here. I fills me with absoulte joy to read all the words shared here. I’m blown away by the love expressed between complete strangers! You all ROCK!

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Anonymous
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I am responding to this thread rather late, but this topic is very familiar to me – I often visit Dave’s ESL Cafe to talk to people about overseas work and have read tons of posts from people talking about leaving their lucrative jobs to work and travel abroad. I would say that you might find you like being home where you are – AFTER you spend a couple years abroad. What i mean is, you might find that is the only way to ever come to a peaceful acceptance of your own life. You step out of your comfort zone for a while, you find out what is out there, you gain a sense of peace and contentment, and you come home.

Dave’s ESL Cafe is at:http://www.pacificnet.net/~sperling/wwwboard4/wwwboard.html. You’ll find a lot of sympathy there, and suggestions.

Oh, if you are highly educated, you could make a lot abroad, too. So I wouldn’t worry so much about the money.

Sincerely,

Heather

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Go For IT!!!!
You will never be hapy until you try and see what happens. I am moving to London in the spring, where I have always dreamed of going (atleast for the past few years)and I have the same qualms and reservations you have, or any one else has. What if I fail, what if its a disaster…? But I know in my heart I have to try and I know that it will work out in the end (contrary to what my parents say, but hey I am 30 years old)
I am sure you will have a blast, if not discover what will make you happy.
You only live once—live it to the fullest!!

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Just wanted to ad that this is the greatest, all the support every one receives and gives is fantastic. I am so much more secure in the knowledge that I am doing the right thing by leaving for London. Thank you all.

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See my reply (DerekV) from below: Everyone says that it is a great experience and I totally agree. I travelled for a short time (and worked some too) after finishing my MBA 2 years ago. I am also 28, have a high paying job but not happy. My company wants to move me to London for two years which would be great because I would experience more of the European lifestyle while still being paid well.
I have also thought about dropping everything and travelling but as I get older and more accustomed to the lifestyle (and money) it makes it hard. I met a couple in Portugal last week while on vacation. They were in their early 30’s, just married 6 months ago and left New Jersey to travel and work for two years around the world. They were working in a guest house/restaurant cleaning and waiting tables. They had some money saved and a couple of potential jobs lined up in different countries but they were not worried about finding work. I was so envious until I heard the girl say that she has a masters degree and cannot wait until next week when the leave Portugal to meet his mom in Spain. VACATION and NO MORE CLEANING! My point is that you will probably only have available to you the low paying non-rewarding jobs that may cause you to wonder "did I give up my nice lifestyle for this?"
Maybe you should just travel for a month. Or maybe you should think about the leave of abscence. If you are thinking of giving up your job anyway then if you take a leave of abscence you can always call from Europe and quit. I am a big fan of having something to fall back on whether it is a job here waiting for me in the US or possible jobs I have lined up in other countries while travelling or even my Platinum Visa card. Don’t burn bridges my grandfather always told me.
Good luck!

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germanyamy
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I know the feeling. I’m also 28 with a good job here in the States. I just moved back here from a year in Germany, and am dying to go back. But this time I want to go to Ireland – because it’s more suited to what I want to do, my personality, and oh yeah, my boyfriend is from there! Not to mention it’s a bit easier for me to find a job in an English speaking country. I do like my job here, but I’m a bit frustrated about the potential to move up. I decided I need a business degree to get where I want to be. Then bingo, the light went on! I’ve just finished sending in my applications to graduate schools in Ireland. Keep your fingers crossed for me! Anyway, I don’t have any of the guilt about giving up a "good job" or running away from life because this is something that will improve my career in the end. Also, I only have to make the commitment for a year. If after I graduate I’m not interested in staying in Ireland, then I’ll come back to the States with MBA in hand, and be better off. Or if I decide to stay, I shouldn’t have a problem finding a job once I have my MBA (or so I’m told!) even as an American.

So there are ways to make it a bit less scary. Be creative. By the way, when I went to Germany for a year, my company was very supportive. They told me it was a great opportunity and to let them know when I came back. A month after I returned I was back at my old company, but with a better job!

Good luck!

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On these boards, there are a lot of negative comments about becoming an expat. That’s because it is not easy to find and keep a long-term legal job overseas and it is not easy to adjust to cultural differences, even (especially) in places that look quite like "home".

To become a "successfull" ex pat, you have to plan, network and perhaps retrain, often for a few years, to find a decent job ´to start off with. Once you get "there", daily life changes FAST and once the newness wears off, you either give up and go home, bitter and disappointed, or else you make a strong personal and emotional commitment to adjust, no matter what, and then you live through the minor bumbs and bends, keeping your personal objectives clearly in mind, and chalking up the troublesome periods and episodes to "learning by screwing up".

In the end, life is what you make it.

I wouldn’t trade my years in Denmark for anything. I wouldn’t leave this country for anything. And i have had to give up a lot. All in all, i have gained more than i have lost, but in the process my reasons for staying here have changed dramatically and despite my best efforts i will always be a foreigner, even after i become a danish citisen.

I don’t think the life of any expat turns out like they expected it too, when they first made up their mind to take the leap. But whose life does?

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quote:
I am a 28 yr old single female from the USA. I have a very nice job (make more than twice my age in income and have unlimited free 1st class travel all over the world) but am extremely unhappy with life. After I graduated from college I did a work abroad in London for 6 months and loved it. &lt>I do not have a clue as to what I want to do "career wise" in life, but love to travel so was wondering if I am absolutly crazy to want to give up my job(I have very little dept)and move to Europe and try to find casual work to figure out what I want.&lt>Also was thinking about the peace corps.&lt>Has anyone else out there been through this that can give me some advise.&lt>Would appreciate any help. Thanks <IMG SRC="http://www.eurotrip.com/bb/smile.gif">

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I was doing a seach on the boards on working abroad and to my amasement, I can accross this tread that I had started several years ago.

I am now 31 and I never did get that courage to drop everything and go overseas. It was not and has never been a money issue, but more of a "afraid of failing" issue.

I recently was laid off (I worked for an airline) due to the NY attacks. I did a lot of searching for a new career and finally said "What the Hell" and I am leaving for Prague in June to attend
the ITC program to get a TEFL certificate.

I am hoping to stay overseas for at least 2 years, who knows, maybe it will turn into 20, I can only hope.

Anyway, this is a little late, but thank you to everyone who responded to my orignal tread.

Thanks

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Ha! I read your original post and figured that you must be another non-revver as well

Good luck in your endeavor. Fortunately, I’ve retained my airline job without any serious problems. Unfortunately, I’ve got way too much time invested to leave—it would be foolhardy.

So, I find myself socking away as much as I can in my 401K, counting down the days until early retirement. I’m even considering a sort of career change right now (while retaining my airline job) so that when I do retire, I’ll have the skills to get a job hopefully anywhere in the world.

good luck, my comrade!

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Hi,
My situation is a little different. I am a junior in highschool, and everyday I loathe my life in the US. I intend to finish highschool, then take off and see where the world takes me. I have an exchange student living at my house right now, and through him I have realized my traveling desires. THe way I see it, we (Americans) are smothered from age 5-18 with the "american dream." We have to hit the homerun, or get that A in math. But I think it is a crack of ****. When you are dying and looking back on your life, are you gonna remember your GPA in school, or how you "suceeded". NO!!!! that’s what most people don’t understand. I say just follow your heart, and take the collar off that our society has choked us with and just do whatever you want.

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dump the job and move to europe.

you only live once. as long as money is not everyting, then get on with a new adventure.

grady

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It’s really encouraging to see other people in the same boat as I am in. I’m 27 and have just passed the 5-year point in my job on monday, which by itself is a milestone, but on top of that I will finish my Master’s degree this semester. My job pays very well and has an incredible retirement plan, but the work is unfulfilling. Also, since this job is in the defense industry, I am not learning very many skills that will help me find a job in the "real world." So I’ve decided to take a couple of months after I graduate to put my affairs in order, then go on a long trip. I plan to end up in London, where I will try to find a job, but I am prepared for the possibility of not finding anything and having to come home, since I would be looking for a programming job.

For anyone looking for a career-type job abroud, I found this site to be a good resource: www.workpermit.com.

Good luck,
Terry

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Very interesting subject. I was teaching english in Poland for 5 months.(traveling 2 months before that) I have a "BS" degree in Marketing. I came back for the holidays. Saw the family. I went back on January 12. (Sold the car, lost the flat in the states, etc)…Got a job with another school. I just blew it off and came back to the states. I got really stressed out for some reason. My wheels were turning. I should have been happy. There is a lot of truth, you must be resilient. I was going to go back last week, but I got cold feet, thinking of my future. I am 33 and my family would like me to see me have more of a career. A real job. I was questioning my ability to teach in Poland. I should have never doubted myself. I busted my ass networking. I was there since August. I just split on colleagues, friends, and a girlfriend. I am still trying to figure out why I got "cold feet". Maybe I was in Love! I think that I must go back and stay for a long time. To get over some of the issues I have with myself. I still miss europe. Besides, I have nothing to lose if I go back. NO real job, nothing here. Only I will be a little embarassed seeing old colleagues and friends, after the way I split. It is very true. You learn a lot about yourself. I learned I have fear of failure issues, committment issues, confidence issues, and I tend to be too critical of others. Money is not important to me. I only want to be comfortable. What is the point of having a nice condo if your personal/social life sucks! Or you have to worry about getting a DUI coming home from the bar. We all have to drive in the states. I am going while I can…make sure you keep a journal! If I want to come back to the states I can always teach. I will have to face the music wherever I am. All the best to those striving for some contentment in life, and trying to create unique niches for themselves. Throw yourself into uncertainty and doing so you will find certainty. Always live in the present. Rock on.

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Hey this is great stuff to read but a little scary. I went to Europe in september and loved every minute of it. The best experience of my life. But since then i have become emersed in school and life here and forgot how incredible it was and what i was missing. Now reading this i remember my vow to move to rome (an amazing city) and am thinking about whether ort not im doing the right thing or not. Society tells us go to school, get a job and work. Have a family and die. Well that is good family will be amazing but there is so much the majority of america misses by not travelling. I am thinking very casually about trying amsterdam or rome or really anywhere for a bit then if i get bored or run out of money come on back and finish school. But im 23 and it seems old. I know it really isnt and there is plenty of time. Thank all of you for writing and exposing your vulnerabilities. I am now looking at my options for this summer. hope to read more about all of you couragoues, confused and wonderful people. Good luck all.

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WOW!!! I can not believe how many of us are in the same position!! It is so comforting to read others view and experiences! I am 23 years old, I graduate with my BSc in Nursing in two weeks, but do not want to stay in Canada to work! All of the sudden everyone thinks "okay time to grow up get a real job". This idea doesn’t interest me, I am planning to travel Europe from June to September, however, would also like to live in England for a year or so and work. I feel lost and a little scared (I must admit)as the process of finding work in Europe seems so confusing and everyone here thinks I am absolutely crazy, they just don’t get it! I trying to register to nurse in the UK, but I believe I have to work for a year in Canada first. Therefore, I was hoping of getting just a casual job, but I am not sure if it will be difficult to do, and if I get one, will I make enough money to live? PLEASE HELP Smile any info on whether it is difficult or easy to find a decent job with enough money to live off of would be greatly appreciated!! THANKS!! Amazin to know I am not the only one feelin like this Smile

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Hannah, you are not alone.
I gave up a great job in Canada and left to Australia for over a year trying to figure out what I want to do with myself only knowing I have a strong love and passion for travel. I had the most amazing time of my life and was the happiest ever there! Came home a couple pf months ago thinking it’s time to get on with my life, but I have been so unhappy since. So I decided to travel again (Europe), and do what really makes me happy. That is how I come to discover this website and you with a similar problem as me. It’s so good to know that I’m not alone. Hannah, Life Is Too Short! Go with what your heart desires and what makes you happy! Feel free to email me if you like.
Linda

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I am a 28 yr old single female from the USA. I have a very nice job (make more than twice my age in income and have unlimited free 1st class travel all over the world) but am extremely unhappy with life. After I graduated from college I did a work abroad in London for 6 months and loved it. &lt>I do not have a clue as to what I want to do "career wise" in life, but love to travel so was wondering if I am absolutly crazy to want to give up my job(I have very little dept)and move to Europe and try to find casual work to figure out what I want.&lt>Also was thinking about the peace corps.&lt>Has anyone else out there been through this that can give me some advise.&lt>Would appreciate any help. Thanks <IMG SRC="http://www.eurotrip.com/bb/smile.gif">

GlowbeTrottar
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It’s odd that I should see this message today.

I’ve just been "awarded" a devastatingly low pay rise in thanks for the incredibly long hours and hard work I put in over the last year. So I’m in the same boat as you now. I can see myself giving my boss the good ol’ "two finger salute" (brits will understand) and marching off across the globe.

It seems that those I talk to in their fifties and sixties regret little they have done, only what they haven’t done. I’m off. Goodbye!

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Hi Hannah and crew,

I left a $40,000/year teaching gig in the U.S. (my home country) at age 24 to follow my dream of living in Spain. That was over 6 years ago and I have never looked back

I am settled in Madrid now (the city of my dreams) and am as happy as a pig in slop!

Chase your dreams because they will certainly not chase you!

Saludos,
jer…

madrid nut, webweaver of www.multimadrid.com – home of the exclusive Plaza Mayor & Puerta del Sol live webcams.

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I’m 23, graduated college with a BS in finance 2 years ago, and hate my stupid job. I studied abroad twice- in Leeds, UK when I was 20 and again in Limerick, Ireland my last semester of school. I did NOT want to come back to the US at that point, but I had a ‘good’ job lined up, my boyfriend (who is from Ireland- met him in England) had a J1 visa lined up to work here (he has an H1B now), and I was afraid I wouldn’t find a job in Europe. Wrong, wrong, wrong. I know that I could never dream of making the salary I make now in Europe (at least not with my qualifications) but what you come to realise when you start making the money is that it doesn’t make things better. I’ve been here two years and I STILL want to live in Europe. I’ve been in and out of most of Western Europe and I would (and I believe COULD) live anywhere I’ve been. Never base your decisions on money. Never. Base them on what makes you happy. If money is what drives you and makes you ‘happy’, you have issues and will never achieve real contentment. Unless of course, you love doing whatever it is that makes you rich… Hook me up with that job! Anyway, a lot of people have said to get out there and try to make it and if all else fails, you can always come home. Right on. The first step is admitting that you want to make a change, then you research it, then…. YOU DO IT! I think I’m in the research phase myself… This website is great, given me a lot of courage and has backed up my feelings on the matter when all my family does is put it down (I am apparently insane for wanting to move to Europe, don’t I know that everyone else in the world is trying to move here?). Don’t give up your dreams, find a way to make them come true, and LIVE YOUR LIFE!!!

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This is indeed amazing stuff to read, and it does give one a LOT of encouragement to be a "free thinker."
My story is similar to the millions here on the web. But the question I find myself asking is if a "real job" is better than bumming out in Europe with no savings. Bumming out doesn’t matter one bit to me, but what about the retirement plan etc.
I have been trying to go back to Europe (after a brief hiatus in Paris)but visa regulations and family pressure have barricaded the doors.
Now, I have a beau in Germany and its getting REALLY REALLY hard to say goodbye at airports. So, I figured I can teach EFL (I do possess a Masters in English) there or in France (since I do speak a bit of French). But guess what? Yeah, its the bureaucracy that’s stopping me.
I am a US resident and not a citizen. And now with the EU preference for EU nationals, and then perhaps,for American citizens, and maybe just maybe, leftovers for citizens from other countries, I have just no way of getting to Europe asap.
I may not want to live in Europe forever….all I want is to be close to my boyfriend while he finishes university. We can decide where to go after that. I will always live in the US. My family lives here and has lived here for years. Its my home. But when it comes to paperwork, it may as well be a foreign country.
Hmm…I just realized I added another story to this thread of hopefuls.
Good luck to us all!
And Hannah, kudos to you!

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"You’ll never be content where you are until you’re content with who you are."

quote:
I am a 28 yr old single female from the USA. I have a very nice job (make more than twice my age in income and have unlimited free 1st class travel all over the world) but am extremely unhappy with life. After I graduated from college I did a work abroad in London for 6 … P>Has anyone else out there been through this that can give me some advise.&lt>Would appreciate any help. Thanks <IMG SRC="http://www.eurotrip.com/bb/smile.gif">

I realise I’m coming in a bit late on this two year old thread (recently revived), but I can relate. The quote is from Christian leader and speaker John Maxwell. It has helped me a lot as I’ve kicked around the idea of moving—overseas… somewhere—and now things have come together. It’s my friends and relationships that I’ve worked hard to get "right" the past few years that are actually my biggest supporters in moving. Hope this helps the original post-er, or anyone else intrigued enough to click this thread.

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All, this is such a great thread. I am 28. Not a citizen of the US. But have Canadian perm res. I am leaving for Europe next March. I don’t have much saved up but at least have IT skills. What really bothers me is my college debt..

The monthly payments promise to eat into my meagre savings very rapidly. Has anyone found a way around this. I am ready to just go bankrupt I guess. Better to be bankrupt and happy than live this silly paycheck to paycheck to bill to bill life in the states no?

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I am almost 21 and will graduate with a history degree one year from December. While getting to the end of school is exciting, what to do next worries me. I’ll probably end up doing the sensible thing and go to law school where I can make decent money but I don’t know how happy I’d be. I figure I can always save up some money while working and then quit and travel if it comes to that. I have been to Europe once (for 27 days this past summer). As of now, I have little money to travel (around $1300 for a 3 week trip to China I leave for in a month…that doesn’t include plane ticket) and another $2800+ for another trip in the future. It’s cool that I have money to take these trips, but I still don’t have enough to take the ultimate trip, the multi year long round the world epic saga this is what life is for trip. I don’t know how much I care to actually settle in a different country, but I want to see everything!!

Anyway, the most affordable law school (which is not a bad one) that I can afford reports N/A for 2000 graduates living internationally (that most likely means 0%!), so the possibilty of actually being a lawyer abroad is slim. What I will do will depend on my financial situation. It would be awesome to be able to save up enough (once out of law school) to be able to buy a house, get it paid for early and then travel for two years (while having the rent from the house plus the house as potential cushion when return home with no job!) That, however, seems like a pipe dream!

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Diddy, yeah, it might be somewhat of a pipe dream, but you never know…I’ll tell you, though, I’ve been working now for a year and a half, and I’ve had it with corporate America. I’m outta here in May after I save as much as possible, and I’m staying in Europe for as long as I possibly can. Hopefully I can pull off a whole year, but I plan on working under the table, and working at as many hostels as I can until I can’t do it anymore. I love travelling too much not to. I don’t care how cheap I live, no tv, no phone, and I’m going to love every second of it. Money’s not as important as I thought it was going to be.

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Hannahhope, I’d love to hear a follow-up story about what has happened since making your big move…assuming it came off as planned.

I’m hoping that you’ve experienced nothing but good things, as I’m very seriously considering making a similiar move. I’m 33 and am looking into the possibility of moving to Prague in the next 6 to 12 months with the aim of teaching English. Spending some time actually living in Europe, rather than just visiting.

Post us a note if you can.